Young Writers Society

16+ Language Violence

The Hand That Feeds

by Sunflowerdemon3712

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

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120 Reviews

Points: 5778
Reviews: 120

Sun Jan 29, 2023 8:51 pm
Overwatchful wrote a review...

Hello, Overwatchful here for a quick review!

I wish I had found this work earlier! It was very good. You're writing skills are impressive, and I am looking forward to reading more of this story!

I don't really have any critiques, except that I saw a few misspellings, so I would advise some more proofreading. Other than that, I think that maybe this is a lot happening in just the prologue, and that some of this could have been more developed in the early chapters, but that's up to you. Last suggestion is that I am surprised that Vecova calls Ayaka a serpent right in front her father. That doesn't really feel like someone who valued their life would do. But thats just a thought, and maybe you have an explanation for why the emporer lets that slide.

Like Liminality said, I think that your main character is presented well, and you describe her emotions beautifully. Your dialogue feels real and relatable, but appropriate for this setting, so kudos for that! I also really like the font you chose. What's the name of it?

Anyway, good job once again, and I hope to read more of this soon!

Happy Review Day from the Clever Elves!


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436 Reviews

Points: 20490
Reviews: 436

Fri Dec 02, 2022 1:41 pm
Liminality wrote a review...

Hi there sunflowerdemon! Lim here with a review.

First Impressions

This story took a scary turn! I kind of had a feeling in the beginning that the main character’s father was going to die, but it still surprised me when it happened. I think that makes it a good plot decision! This prologue also makes me curious about the world the story takes place in. Those soldiers sound like zombies, since it seems that you can turn into them if you’re bitten / have an open wound caused by them? And it looks like the main character has some powers from the gods she might be able to use from now on.


Something I like about the plot is how the pace picks up after the soldiers first attack. The tone changes to something very different from the first paragraph, but the jarring effect makes sense within the context of the story, since it was a surprise attack. (I also like that the potential for there being attacked was established with the line about Ayaka needing to have her dagger with her, and that this same dagger gets used during the fight scene.) Ayaka having to amputate her hand while on the run also came as a surprise to me, but it makes for a haunting finish to the prologue. It leaves me wondering what’s in store for her next.


I felt like the introductory part, before the ceremony actually starts, was pretty long. As a reader, I tend to look for a ‘hook’ or a catchy event in the first paragraph to see if I want to read on. A quote from ‘The Art of War’ is kind of neat, but it isn’t an event/ action that pulls me into this story specifically.

I’d personally have liked to have a sense of what Ayaka is actually like, such as showing her interacting with her father or other people in the palace, before having this information about how people *see* her as a “serpent”. It felt a bit out of context otherwise, like I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to believe the description or take it as unreliable. I hope that makes sense!


Something I like was how the relationship between Ayaka and her father and her emotions after his death were shown. The scene where her father asks if she has her dagger with her was particularly neat, because it shows that he finds her competent enough to defend herself and also that he’s concerned about her well-being, so he makes sure that she has that dagger, kind of like a parent making sure their kid brought their lunchbox to school. I found her father’s trust of her and respect refreshing, and a nice turn away from that stereotype of overprotective parents in stories about princesses.

I also found her reaction to his death very believable. I found I could sympathise with her in that scene. It balanced being clear about what she’s feeling (with descriptions like “. . . I want to be mad . . . I want to ignore the guttural fear . . .”) with showing her emotional complexity, like how she goes between crying and acting out in violence.


This seems to me like the start to maybe a tragic dark fantasy story about the war against these coral-like beings. I feel like I have a good idea of who the main character is: someone who’s proud of her role and lineage, who’s ostracised from others quite a bit, and is also grieving by the end of this prologue.

Hope this helps and let me know if you’d like more feedback on something specific!

Thank you so much for this kind review and the wonderful suggestions! As for the "serpent comment" That is actually something I planned to be shown a tiny bit later in the story, so you'll have to wait on that part ; )

Liminality says...

Ooh I see! Sounds interesting! c:

"For a short space of time I remained at the window watching the pallid lightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening to the rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noise way beneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to my too keen sensations; when I placed my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion."
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein